New Yorkers looking to escape to the mountains but aren't quite ready to go full rustic—a fun adventure on its own—should check out this six-bedroom home in the upscale Lew Beach area of the Beaverkill Valley. Dubbed Beech Hill House, the home is modern in architecture, with a layout that invites free movement. It also features high ceilings and tall windows, and is equipped with solar panels that generate 75 percent of its electricity needs. Nonetheless, it sits on 16 treed acres that ensure privacy and bring its vacationers face to face with the glorious natural surroundings.
The house, listed with Red Cottage Inc., has massive windows oriented toward its mountain views, and though it's no lakefront idyll, from the circular sofa in the living room, you can drink in a heavy dose of the Beaverkill Valley. This slice of the Catskills is renowned for its pristine rivers and unblemished wilderness, made possible in part by the efforts of Laurance D. Rockefeller (yes, of that Rockefeller family), who, according to the New York Times, bought a large swatch of the area and re-sold acres-big plots with development restrictions.
There's none of the claustrophobic, compartmentalized feel of the typical Catskills cabin here; the kitchen, which is big and equipped enough for feast-making and includes an island for food prep, opens onto the dining room, which leads to the living room. You and your guests can make cooking and dining an all-hands-on-deck affair. A vegetable garden nearby offers up pesticide-free produce that's available for the taking.
There's a piano in the living room for the musically inclined. Per the listing, there's also a vintage turntable and speakers, and accompanying vinyl records (no details on which albums are stocked).
Bedrooms are neat and minimalist—though there are toys tucked into some of them, including the room with a bunk bed—and completely removed of that buggy, clammy feel that can sometimes afflict woodsy rentals.
A second level provides more bedrooms and lounging areas—a perfect solution for vacationing parties that want some separation of space. (We're partial to the room below with the sloped ceiling).
Chunks of the summer have already been taken, but you can still reserve it—the owner asks a minimum of seven nights—for $2,400/week till May, and $3,000/week for June, July, and August. There's no airconditioning and cell phone service will likely be spotty, but there is a landline and wi-fi.
On rainy days, or when you've already fully explored the property's acreage (doubtful—you'll need at least a month to do that), it's good to know that the house comes with access to the Beaverkill Valley Mountain Club (as long as you're booked for at least two weeks, anyway), which includes a private pool and tennis courts.
Or, you could hit the town and partake of nearby Livingston Manor's burgeoning restaurant scene, including the acclaimed Arnold House, which has a "barbecue barn" and a spa, and the vegan-and-vegetarian-friendly cafe, Main Street Farm.
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